CHANDIGARH: Days after they hogged limelight for thrashing three youths in a bus, the Haryana government today kept on hold its decision to reward the two sisters for bravery following a controversy over the incident.
The government has also reinstated the driver and conductor of the roadways bus who were suspended in the wake of the incident triggered by the alleged harassment of the sisters at the hands of the youths.
"Fair investigation would be conducted in the incident of molestation of two girls in a moving bus of Haryana Roadways at Rohtak recently," Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar told reporters in Rohtak.
Today's decision came after the case took a new turn when four co-passengers from Aasan village, the native hamlet of the sisters, gave an affidavit in Sadar police station at Rohtak claiming that the boys were innocent.
Also, another video surfaced showing the two sisters beating up a youth in a park for allegedly teasing them.
"The award announced for the two sisters by the state government which was to be bestowed upon them on Republic day had been 'put on hold pending an inquiry' in the case," Chief Minister's Officer on Special duty (OSD) Jawahar Yadav said.
"The decision whether the girls would be rewarded or not would be taken after thorough investigation of the incident," he added.
The decision to honour the two sisters with a reward on Republic Day and suspension of the bus driver and conductor were announced shortly after a video of the girls thrashing three boys in a moving bus went viral on social media and news channels.
"The bus driver Balwan Singh and conductor Labh Singh of state owned Haryana Roadways bus with registration no-HR 69 6150 - have been reinstated with immediate effect pending departmental enquiry against the two," an official spokesman said.
The two college-going sisters had confronted three alleged molesters inside a moving bus, with one of the girls even hitting the youths with her belt, even as passengers remained mute spectators.
The parents of the two girls lodged an FIR with Haryana police against the three youths- Kuldeep, Mohit and Deepak who were were later arrested and released on bail.
A co-passenger who identified herself as Bimla claimed that the boys never eve teased the girls.
"It was a fight over seat in which the boys did not say anything to the girls. Instead they jumped from the bus to get themselves free from attack by the girls who later followed them," she said.
"The boys didn't even raise their voice...bestowing honour on girls on the part of government without proper enquiry is incorrect...the girls are of bad character," added Bimla.
A case under section 354 (assault or criminal force with intent to outrage woman's modesty) and section 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) was registered against the boys.